Tonight I went to the Hillsong United concert at the US Airways Center.  I’ve had lots of worship experiences in my life (even before I became a Christian 4.5 years ago) but I don’t think I’ve ever really been to a “Christian concert” before.  Hillsong rocked it, and it was incredibly moving to sing and lift my hands in praise with a couple thousand other people.  I think the thing I was most impressed by was when the band played their song “With Everything.”  They finished up and the lights went out, and the thousands in the audience continued to sing, unaccompanied, in the dark.  People were flashing their cell phones in the air and all around it looked like twinkling stars as we stood there passionately and humbly singing to God.  It was a profound moment.

That’s probably what impacts me more about being a Christian than anything else–this fact of being part of a group that shares God in common. We are all indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and because of that, I can say that tonight I was singing with two thousand family members. That is a poignant thing.  It’s a holy thing.

Family is an incredibly important thing to me, and I know it’s because of past events.  I am blessed with an awesome mom and extended family, and I’m grateful for them all the time.  However, there is something incredible about Christianity in that I have millions of family members worldwide.  God is the tie that binds.  It’s commonly misconstrued that the church is a building, but it’s not.  The church is a family.  There’s something moving about worshiping with so many believers because of that familial bond, and it’s such a powerful feeling that any words I possess that could describe it would be pitiful and woefully inadequate.

It very frequently brings tears to my eyes to ponder all the ways God has blessed me through family.  Sure, some of our deepest pain may result from those close relationships, but I believe it’s in the context of relationship that we receive our deepest blessings.  I hope we learn throughout our lives to take more notice of these blessings.  For my part, they have brought joy and love to my life, both in such unimaginable quantities that I can’t begin to explain it.

If you are a Christian reading this, I am more grateful than you can realize to have you as a brother or sister.  I pray you will be abundantly blessed, and I can’t wait to get to know you, if not on earth, than in the Kingdom of God.

If you’re not a Christian, I encourage you to think about joining the family.  God is an excellent Papa and you’ll have plenty of siblings to love and be loved by in return.  God is crazy about YOU, and He sent Jesus into the world to die and rise again, making a way for you to join the family.  That’s how much He loves you, cares for you, and wants to be with you.  I want to be with you too, and I’m certain my brothers and sisters feel the same.  So, come on over!  We’ve set a place for you at the dinner table, and we have a room prepared. You are always welcome here.

 

 

Check out this video of the song “With Everything.”  This video very much reflects my own experience tonight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP2sFaVqg_c&feature=related

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